Interview with John Wikstrom, Founder and President at Magic Memories

Interview with John Wikstrom, Founder and President at Magic Memories

Interview with John Wikstrom, Founder and President at Magic Memories

29 January 2018

Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.

Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.

Below is our interview with John Wikstrom, Founder and President at Magic Memories:

What does your company do?

Magic Memories is the company behind the fun photo and video experiences that you see at some of the world’s best-loved loved tourism, sport, cultural, and leisure attractions like the Orlando Eye, Sea Life Sydney, and FC Barcelona. We now operate in 10 countries and work with 180 major tourist attractions worldwide, but one thing has never changed about Magic Memories; we always place the guest at the heart of the experience. The tailored experiences we provide at attractions leaves our guests delighted with the quality and the ability to share them with friends and family. In 2018 we will have access to 100 million guests to enjoy and share over 300 million memories and we are continuing to invest in the evolution of personalized experiences for guests to treasure for years to come in print, digital, and social.

What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?

I’m a Co-Founder of Magic Memories and currently President of our North American region, it is very rewarding to have founded a company 100% focused on creating products and experiences that make people smile. I enjoy creating stories and moments for guests to engage with on an emotional level regardless of their age or gender. But, a career highlight and something that I will keep with me forever is successfully setting a vision for a company that is built on connecting with people’s hearts and minds, be it our own team members, attraction partners or guests.

What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?

Our biggest opportunity is to ensure we’re constantly evolving the product to continually improve the guest experience. We want to deliver unique and personalized experiences at every attraction to ensure we continue to make guests look better than they can themselves!

A constant challenge we face is learning how to say “no”; meaning what ideas, projects/partnerships, or products we pass on to keep the business moving forward. Right now, the proliferation of mobile is great for our business, but with so many things ‘we could do’ we need to consistently work together to prioritize our direction and what we need to say “no” to.

Doing what we say is a core value, getting better at saying “no” means we can ensure we’re getting a ‘bigger bang for our buck’ for those projects and partnerships we do cultivate/develop.

If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

If I could go back in time, I’d advise my younger self to set a clear vision for the company from the very beginning. A structured and goal oriented three-year plan to define the market opportunity, who your customers are and the competitive advantage of Magic Memories. I’d then surround myself with experienced people who have been where we want to go to help deliver this plan with a strategic annual review of our goals and plans. I always say, ‘it is better to get dragged to the finishing line by people who know what they’re doing than it is to try and learn it all by yourself on the way.’